When the 1960s ended, San Franciscos Haight-Ashbury district reverted to high rent, and many hippies moved down the coast to Santa Cruz. They had children and got married, too, though in no particular sequence. But they didnt name their children Melissa or Brett. People in the mountains around Santa Cruz grew accustomed to their children playing Frisbee with little Time Warp or Spring Fever. And eventually Moonbeam, Earth, Love and Precious Promise all ended up in public school. Thats when the kindergarten teachers first met Fruit Stand.
Every fall, according to tradition, parents bravely apply name tags to their children, kiss them good-bye and send them off to school on the bus. So it was for Fruit Stand. The teachers thought the boys name was odd, but they tried to make the best of it.
“Would you like to play with the blocks, Fruit Stand?” they offered.
And later, “Fruit Stand, how about a snack?”
He accepted hesitantly. By the end of the day, his name didnt seem much odder than Heathers or Sun Rays. At dismissal time, the teachers led the children out to the buses. “Fruit Stand, do you know which one is your bus?”
He didnt answer. That wasnt strange. He hadnt answered them all day. Lots of children are shy on the first day of school. It didnt matter. The teachers had instructed the parents to write the names of their childrens bus stops on the reverse side of their name tags. The teacher simply turned over the tag. There, neatly printed, was the word “Anthony.”